BEIJING, July 3 (Xinhua) -- Trade between China and the Republic of Korea (ROK) amounted to 709.65 billion yuan (115.24 billion U.S. dollars) in the first five months of 2014, up 2.8 percent from the same period last year, customs data showed on Thursday.
In the January-May period, exports to the ROK rose 6.6 percent from a year ago to 250.99 billion yuan, while imports edged up 0.8 percent to 458.66 billion yuan, according to the General Administration of Customs (GAC).
The trade deficit between the two countries retreated 5.4 percent year on year to 207.67 billion yuan.
The ROK is China's sixth largest trade partner and third largest source of imports.
Half of foreign trade volume between China and the ROK is related to processing trade, namely importing raw materials, parts and components and re-exporting finished products after processing or assembly, according to the GAC.
Two-way trade between China and the ROK surpassed 270 billion U.S. dollars in 2013, a 7 percent year-on-year increase, equating to the ROK's trade volume with the United States and Japan combined.
The two countries launched free trade agreement negotiations in May 2012 and more than ten rounds of talks have been conducted.
Chinese President Xi Jinping left Beijing on Thursday morning for a two-day state visit to the ROK. Analysts expect the visit to consolidate the China-ROK relationship and inject new vigor for future cooperation.